I have been listening to the Score from the game by Greg Edmonson pretty much all evening as well as enjoying it throughout the game and have been really blown away by how incredibly amazing it is. The first game had probably my favourite musical score since Shadow of the Colossus. I find it to be better than 90% of what accompanies hollywood blockbusters these days and has a really unique sound by using a lot of instruments from all around the world. Now I know Hans Zimmers Modern Warfare 2 score will probably be an exciting, heartpounding in your face kind of musical score but Uncharted 2's has a real tenderness accompanying the more action orientated sections and it feels incredibly epic in places. There is a track on the OST called Cornered and it is easily my favourite piece from the game. It plays during the section while youre running through the building as a helicopter tries to blow you up . It has a wonderfully lighthearted bit before going into a swelling string section. I'm a sucker for a good musical score but Greg Edmonson has really gone above and beyond my expectations. I never throught a game would have such a complete musical score to accompany it. Absolutely stunning.
I finished Uncharted 2 in two sittings between yesterday and today and the "aghhhhh" is for good reason.
I am the person that two years ago kept telling everyone "dude, play uncharted...its fuckin awesome". it was my favourite "real" game of 2007 ( EDF 2017!!!!!!!) and blew me away with it's pacing, characters and cinematic ways. But Uncharted 2 which is undoubtedly prettier, more exciting, better acted, better paced and generally better composed with a much heavier emphasis on platforming with some sections lasting up to 40 minutes or so first time through. unfortunately this time round I have a bunch more issues....
so to the plusses...and minuses
+ Best looking game I have played up until now. (my PC will run Crysis as High quality... it looks better than crysis) + story is trashy action movie perfect . + acting has masses of personality and expertly handled . + the big set piece moments are "FUCK YEAH!" awesome. + the end of the game has a really human touch to it rarely seen in videogames. + the stealth stuff is really quite good (I have seen a few complaints about it) + the musical score makes me go weak at the knees. + the enemies MOSTLY are not bullet sponges + the platforming sections are epic as hell. + hand to hand fighting is muchly improved.
- ...and when I mean mostly I mean, some bigger enemies take waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy too much ammo to kill using conventional weapons. - the game ramps up its difficulty in a couple of spots that make it more frustrating than fun, there's a lot more insta-kills in this game (on normal mode) and there is nothing I hate more than being killed by some shotgun rusher because I'm hiding from a hail of sniper fire - enemy spam!, i'm surprised about the amount of people that seem to have overlooked this. ND removed the bullet sponge enemies but in their place added enemy spamming where possible, there are some gunfights in the game where it is you vs 40 or so enemies in waves, most shooters (like gears) don't even do that. - while the combat is hugely fun it is not as accurate as I was expecting, I am still missing headshots all over the place not due to bad aiming but because you often have to hit an exact point on the evemies head. - rocket/grenade spam from enemies... absolutely hate this in any game. - amazing setpiece moments that end in insta-kills I died about ten times in the falling building section ,about four in the car chase near the beginning and loaaaads at the tank section because the game just decided not to tell me what I need to do or I continuously got killed by a sliding desk. The problem with the tank section is that it doesn't do a very good job of guiding you throughout the buildings, infact I ran into a few "where the hell am I supposed to go next" moments because I couldnt see a rope on a wall of some tiny ledge. I never ran into any moments like this during the first game and It always feels like the pace of the game is getting ruined when you have to spend ages looking for the exit.
I have a bunch of complaints, I know... Don't get me wrong this game is absolutely brilliant, one of the top five best games on the system easily and its positives really do outshine its negatives I just found some of the new decisions to be absolutely strange, especially the enemy spamming because it just seems like a quick fix to the bullet sponges from the first game instead of just making the enemies cleverer. the game is five stars easy but doesn' even come close to the experience I had with Metal Gear, I felt fully satisfied come the finale. even with a ho-hum final boss battle. I just sat back and THOUGHT to myself "this game is absolutely ace"....
When I finished MGS4...I literally punched the air.
some otherness things I have learn't from gamestation trade ins
wall.E is worth £4 Guitar Hero world tour is worth £7
but the real news here is mini ninjas is worth £28!!!!!!!!!... I bought it in tesco's for £32...they sell it in GS for £44.99
There was a post a couple of months back about these Street Fighter IV phone straps from Strapya.com The second I saw them I wanted, No..NEEDED one. Me and my friend got ours in the post today and theyre kinda awesome.
My friend Got Ken and I got my main Chun-Li... I shall add pictures later when she sends me them.
I cannot do the Shoryuken on the Ken one for the life of me, I tried it really slow and really fast (it did it twice but I'm not quite sure what I did right) They seem to be pretty tough and kind of want you to do the move motions with quite some force and It does feel a little bit like you could break it easily
The Charge moves on the Chun one seem much easier to pull off, the sound is pretty clear also
Kind of silly, but I can now Kikoken anyone in the street whenever I wish!
Why is it that when I am talking to someone in first person shooters I cannot hear them or their vocal range drops when my back is turned? I was playing the Allo Allo-ified Wolfenstein demo earlier and realised how absolutely annoying it is to have to stand in a certain place to hear what on earth someone is saying. It's my only real issue with the Half life(2) games. It becomes increasingly more ridiculous the more and more videogames strive for realism, It really bugs me in a game when I have to follow a certain character at a certain pace if not I will miss out on dialogue. Fable 2 had this a couple of times and its incredibly strange to suddenly get within a certain zone and catch the final few words of someones sentence...Like I wouldn't be able to hear anything they were saying because I was one centimetre out of range.. I dont want to have to stare at some shitty lip synching and bad facial movement because the game demands me to do so if I want to hear story or tutorial points. A game that doesn't fall for this is Bioshock with the sounds and voices of the enemies echoing in from other rooms. It's one of those things in games that just make absolutely no sense yet seems to be standard within the genre.
Although I think if i was argueing with someone and disagreed with their point I could just turn around and the volume of their voice would drop out... that might be pretty awesome.
I never thought I would say this but Katamari Forever is too damn hard.
I have played We <3 katamari and Beautiful Katamari for more hours than I would like to mention, I have gotten all presents and cousins, eternal'd all levels in the past games... I even got those MILLION ROSES! so I'm not some novice Katamari roller or anything What makes the new game so hard is some unfair time limits, bad item placement and new levels that demand use of the new jump feature. Now the final level where you eventually roll up all of your planets is identical to the final stage in Beautiful Katamari (Schloss cosmos) IDENTICAL, every building, person, box, animal, present, cousin, seamonster is placed in exactly the same place. In BK they give you 17 , SEVENTEEN minutes to complete this level and that feel about right, its quite challenging to know the order to get some of the stuff in, but removing SIX of those minutes it demands almost perfection from you, 11 minutes is barely enough time to get the 10,000,000 size limit let alone scouting the area for cousins and presents. Now I get that its the same levels and they kind of expect you to know them off by heart by now but time limits like this are ridiculous and almost suck any fun out of playing the game, challenging is one thing but in a game where it's so easy to get stuck on the scenery or glitch into buildings it seems like someone on the staff is taking the piss. The time limit thing happens on about four or five of the levels, but its much worse then a level starts you off always in a position where you have to waste a minute before you can find any items to collect, Item distrubution is completely bizarre on one of the new levels it took me over 20 attempts to finish the level and I only finished it due to some weird escalation of my katamari within the last 30 seconds its not as bad as the overly strict time limits on certain levels or even the jump....
The jump, It kind of removes some of the puzzley nature from katamari where in past games if you saw something up high you'd have to find the exact way around the room to get up to it but in KF you get a jump and it is innacurate, horrible to use and often the cause of level failure. there are two new levels in the game One where you use water to grow plants in a desert and another where you roll up the Robo king of the cosmos both require you to jump around a lot but jumping forwards is an absolute pain . I dont think I have ever sworn so much at a game because everytime I hopped up I would bounce off of the scenery and have to try, try, try again. This wouldn't be so bad if it didnt halt all momentum of your Katamari often losing you up to five seconds....
five seconds is a lifetime in Katamari!
finally the desaturation of certain levels make them unbearably hard, some levels are in Black and white to begin with and there are two levels from the past games that are almost broken due to this.One where you have to make a bear-cow planet where you have to roll up the biggest bear or cow item you can find. You can only do this by getting big enough using other objects whilst avoiding a barrage of cow and bear objects... hit one object that is a bear or a cow and the level ends. With colour the level seems fine because you know to avoid the browns and the blacks and the whites but when everything is either black or white the level becomes completely frustrating because you didn't see a mini figurine of a bear that was 5 millimetres big on the screen. another level that does this is one where you have to keep the Katamari alight and avoid cold objects... easily the hardest level in any Katamari game already due to the volume of water and cold objects...remove all the colour and its a fucking nightmare.
I never thought I would be ranting about a game I actually love...or past iterations of, The new game does a pretty good job of giving you lots of levels and plenty of variants of them but the core KF levels are hard for the sake of them being hard and it makes Katmari really frustrating..The franchise has enough flaws that most overlook due to the humour and style. I would never complain about a lack of new objects or cousins (theres only four new ones) or the same old presents. And I am pretty accepting of the recycled levels due to the consistently funny writing and overall charm of the series but the issues i have come across have made me swear and get frustrated over more than I would really like when it comes to a game of this kind.
Over the last couple of weeks I have discovered I actually care for other videogames outside of Street Fighter IV , Although I'm pretty certain some of these purchases may or may not have been decided because of it.
Panzer Dragoon Orta (XBOX)
I have heard many good things about PDO over the years and being one of those PS2-only types I never got to play any of the gamecube and xbox exclusive games, This being one of the few I was interested in because of its gorgeous graphics and my love for intense shooting games. Made by the Smilebit the same people as the fantastic Jet Set Radio Future the first thing that stood out was the character design, It has a weird fantasy future thing going on, not at all like the Final Fantasy games with giant robots made of bones and weird laserbeam toting dragons ridden by men seemingly made of wood. Anyways, The game (which I have yet to finish because of some issues with it freezing up on levels) which is essentially a rail shooter with some pathway choices which are very well integrated into the flow of the levels. The dragon you ride has three different forms you can switch between like say Super Stardust HD on PSN or to a lesser extent something like the combat in heavenly sword with you having to shift between the three different attack styles such as a machine gun, a big laser beam and lock-on missiles to defeat different types of enemies. the triggers let you shift between the four different sides of the dragon so youre constantly having to keep switching viewpoint (because enemies come at you from all angles), weapon styles, aim as well as dodging oncoming obstacles. Annnnnnnnd if that wasn't enough the game also gives you speed up and slow down buttons as certain enemies and bosses can only be attacked from behind etc... PHEW!
The good thing is that the game does not demand that you kill each and every single enemy on the screen as some of them you only ever get a fleeting glimpse of . Oh my god! is this game hard, I know its a very short game but it throws everything at you at once and never, lets up, That doesn't make it a bad game at all but some of its design choices feel incredibly old fashioned by todays standards and I'm sure they could have streamlined the form switching so it isn't all attached to the same button so I always have to cycle through the seemingly useless second form (not found a use for it in any of the levels I have played but I'm certain theres a reason for its existance). I like that the game has a really unique style to is, something I remember from the old Saturn game, which I was only ever allowed to watch someone else play (my uncle, what a dick!) and it holds up really well in the looks department for a 3D game, The dragons look awesome and unlike any other dragon I have ever seen. I plan on finishing it over this weekend if I dont spend too long on TB:RB just so I can finally play the original game.... fuck you, uncle Chris!
Street Fighter Anniversary Collection (XBOX)
I bought this game soley for Third Strike which is the only Street fighter I have never played (there may be one of the Alpha games I haven't but i'm not so fussed)... It turns out I absolutely ADORE SF3, I love the animation and how smoothly all of the transitions are and I totally understand why Chun-Li plays the ways she does in IV now after i whined like an idiot for a couple of weeks after release about her inadequacy. I think i prefer the way this game plays to IV but without any real human opponents other than my button mashy friend I can't be 100% certain about that. Turns out I like ken in Third Strike, he seems to be hugely effective. also What a bunch of freaks, I love the way these characters look but they don't feel at all street fighter...or what I thought was streetfightery up until now. They mosly have their II equivalents but some of them really seem like they just drunkenly stumbled over from the darkstalkers cast... and that Oro.... what the fuck is his purpose????.... anyone?????
Also the really bad image quality transfer of the original SFII movie is on the dvd, It no longer has Chun-Li's boobs in it so therefore I am no longer interested*, and yes That was the first thing I checked, judge me....I dont care.
* Neil does not care for cartoon boobs....really!
Pocket Fighter (PS1)
So as Chibi fighters go, This is surprisingly playable and still looks really, really good despite it's age, I really like the three button combat system and despite zangiefs absolutely overpowered godlike nature theres a lot more depth to the combat than at first glance. And it probably not so surprisingly plays very much like you would expect a street fighter game to play. I don't know why I was so surprised by this, looks are often misleading.
I also love how you can level up the special moves throughout the fight using puzzlefighter gems, Its a nice touch.
Ryu's Shoryuken is also pretty ineffectual believe it or not.
The Beatles: Rock Band (360)
Its The Beatles....In a Rock Band game and despite some issues with the online score battle player match system "But I don't wan't to play on expert" It all looks and sounds absolutely amazing....
The songs speak for themselves.
I have also played though Batman Arkham Asylum...It's pretty awesome, The combat is indredibly fluid and visceral, The Game is brilliant despite its really short lived nature, even if it is no masterpiece. It works as a better BATMAN story than The Dark Knight movie that's for certain.
this isn't even really a blog but after seeing that Brutal legend has about 5 dedicated MP achievements I'm slightly pissed, I hate having to venture online in a game , especially a game that looks so devoted to it's single player campaign. I seriously hope Modern Warfare 2 doesn't have any like the first game did , It's uneccessary and mildly annoying and encourages complete dickishness amongst players, The only time I ever feel that online ones are justified are in fighting games. What will be absolutely terrible will be if uncharted 2 has a huge chunk of MP ones, that will seriously suck
Just finished splosion man last night and got all the single player cakes thismorning. Absolutely taken like this game in the same way I was taken by portal a couple of years back. Absolutely frustratingly, madeningly, annoyingly difficult in sections but always rewarding, probably the second finest "fuck you" game after N+. The humour is spot on and just like twisted pixels last game The maw full of charm. The first time I heard the Donuts, go nuts song I was giggling like an idiot. I cannot wait to see what this developer is going to do naxt and as much as I'd like a sequel to either of their games I would really like to see something absolutely different set in this weird little universe they have created.